This classic Masala dosa recipe makes perfectly light, soft and crispy crepes stuffed with a savory, wonderfully spiced potato and onion filling. It might take a bit of time to make delicious hotel style masala dosa.
Making masala dosa batter
First take all the ingredients in three bowls.
1.5 cups idli rice or parboiled rice in one bowl. You can also use regular short-grained to medium-grained rice like sona masuri or parmal.
½ cup urad dal (husked black gram) + 1 tablespoon chana dal (husked and split bengal gram) + 20 methi seeds (fenugreek seeds) in a second bowl
Rinse the lentils and fenugreek seeds a couple of times. Then soak them in 1 cup water for 4 to 5 hours. thick poha (flattened rice) in a third bowl.Rinse the rice a couple of times and keep aside.
Rinse flattened rice once or twice and then add to the rice.
Pour 2 cups water. Stir and soak both rice and flattened rice together for 4 to 5 hours.se flattened rice once or twice and then add to the rice.
Before grinding, strain the water from the soaked lentils+fenugreek seeds and keep it for grinding urad dal. You can also use fresh water if you prefer.
Grind the urad dal, chana dal and fenugreek seeds till you get a batter which is light and fluffy. The urad dal has to be ground really well, so that the dosa batter ferments well.
Remove batter in a bowl or pan with a spatula.
Strain the rice well. Then in the same grinder, add the soaked rice and 1 cup fresh water. You can grind rice in one batch or in two to three batches. This will depend on the size of the grinder jar the consistency of the urad dal batter.
Grind the rice till you get a fine grainy consistency in it. The rice batter should have a fine rava (cream of wheat) like consistency of the ground rice grains.
Now pour the rice+flattened rice batter in the same pan or bowl containing the urad lentil batter.
Add ½ teaspoon edible rock salt or add as per taste. You can also use sea salt or pink salt.
Mix the salt very well with the ground batter. Also, mix both the rice batter and the urad lentil batter thoroughly. Cover with a lid and keep aside to ferment for 8 to 9 hours at room temperature.
Making potato filling
First rinse and then boil 4 medium sized potatoes in 2 cups water for 5 to 6 whistles in a pressure cooker.
When the potatoes are cooking, rinse and soak 1 tablespoon chana dal in ¼ cup hot water for 30 minutes. Then drain all the water from the chana dal and set aside.
When the pressure settles down on its own in the cooker, remove the lid. Drain the potatoes and let them become warm.
Then peel and chop them. Also, thinly slice 2 medium to large onions (200 grams) and chop 1 to 2 green chilies, finely chop 1 inch ginger and some coriander leaves. When you measure, you should have:
1.25 cups thinly sliced onions
1 teaspoon chopped green chillies
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
3 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
Heat oil or ghee in a frying pan or skillet. If using cashews, then fry 2 tablespoons cashews at this step and keep them aside.
Lower the heat and add mustard seeds and let them splutter. You can add ½ teaspoon cumin seeds while tempering.
Then add the chana dal.
Saute the chana dal for 2 to 3 minutes on a low heat or till they turn light golden or golden.
Now add the sliced onions, curry leaves, green chilies and ginger.
Sauté the onions till they soften and turn translucent. Stir often while sautéing onions so that they get evenly cooked.
Add the turmeric powder and asafoetida (hing). To make it gluten-free use the gluten-free asafoetida or skip it altogether.
Mix very well and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes or till the mixture thickens a bit
Next add the boiled chopped potatoes.
You can choose to mash the potatoes slightly while cooking.
Season with salt according to taste. Also add ¼ to ½ teaspoon sugar for a slightly sweet taste. You can add more sugar if you prefer And stir again
Simmer on a low to medium-low heat for 3 to 4 minutes stirring occasionally.
Switch off the heat and then add chopped coriander leaves. Also add fried cashews now (if you have fried the cashews earlier as mentioned in step 5 above). Mix well.
Stir and keep the potato masala aside. The potato filling should be moist and easily spreadable on the dosa. Make sure there is no water in the potato stuffing. It should not be of a curry or gravy consistency. This is your basic potato masala for the masala dosa.
Making masala dosa
Now lightly stir the batter, before you begin to make dosa. You will also see tiny air pockets in the batter with an increase in its volume.
take batter in a big spoon
Heat a cast iron pan or a flat non-stick pan. The pan should be medium hot. Smear some oil if using an iron pan or griddle. Don’t smear oil on a non stick pan, as then you won’t be able to spread the batter easily.
Dosa batter has a medium-thick to medium flowing consistency and is easily pourable.
Keep the heat to a low, while spreading batter.
Spread the batter in a circular way on the pan. On a medium heat, Sprinkle some oil on top and edges.
Cover the dosa with a lid and let it cook.
Cook till its base becomes golden and crisp. You can spread the oil which was sprinkled earlier on the dosa with a spoon.
You can also opt to flip the dosa and cook the top side.
When you see the base has become golden, the edges have separated from the pan and the dosa has cooked, place a portion of the potato masala filling on the dosa. You can spread the filling a bit if you want.
If you prefer then you can choose not to place the potato stuffing in the dosa and instead serve it separately. Some people like to have masala dosa served this way. Simply cook the dosa without any added potato filling
Now fold the dosa and serve.
10.Apart from sambar and coconut chutney, masala dosa also taste good with onion chutney, tomato chutney and peanut chutney.